Thank you all for your interest in the past few days. The rumors, misinterpretations (innocent and intentional) and accusations have created amazing amounts of discussion. This has enabled a great deal more people the opportunity to learn and understand both the problems arising from the flooding, along with possible solutions.
For those who are just joining on this issue, welcome.
For those community and municipal representatives, and organizations from dozens of backgrounds who attended information meetings surrounding the “Common Ground” proposal over the past number of months, we hope you too will welcome our “newly interested” to the solution we have been discussing, and share what you have been hearing and telling us in this process.
We have been accused of just about everything imaginable in the past few days, short of stealing horses, or even puppies, so far, so here is a bit of an update on the process.
Governments at all levels have been wrestling with the Quill Lakes Floods for many years. In 2014, the premier and the Environment minister came to the Quill Lakes to a presentation of the flood to date. The recommendation from that meeting was for us to form a watershed association based on municipal membership, both urban and rural, including First Nations. Everyone in the Watershed boundaries were invited to participate, and those who chose to formed the Quill Lakes Watershed Association #14. We were up and running in 2015. We have had two Engineering Firms, commissioned by WSA, to study and prepare options, based on scientific research into weather history and predictions, hydrology and landscapes, etc. These studies, along with cost comparisons and potential impacts of individual options, have provided our Watershed Association, and Provincial Government with many tools in which to base decisions on.
Decisions were made based on, engineering studies, consulting and engagement of as many stakeholders as possible, local knowledge, and professional advice along the way.
The first step was to develop an organization with the ability, under legislation, to accomplish the goal, both physically and financially. Then the following steps were taken:
- Develop a science-based concept proposal with multiple ways to achieve results.
- Seek Additional Preliminary Engineering, as to the viability, including cost and economic comparisons, of the concept proposal before presenting to the stakeholders and general public
- Present the concept form (Common Ground Proposal) to as many people as possible to seek input and acceptance for the potential project.
- Proceed with more in-depth engineering, and regulatory research to identify what could be done, within a potential timeline, effectively and in what order.
- Build a project to meet the standards of the regulatory system, including consideration for best management practices to meet environmental and societal needs, for as broad a base of stakeholders as possible.
- Will we please a 100% of the people, not likely… But there are hundreds if not thousands, from the Quill Lakes and a long way downstream, that want to see something done about this problem, and soon.
We have been working on putting all of the pieces to the puzzle together for an accepted project. All of the puzzle pieces have not been put in place yet, therefore there is no approved project.
The original project concept started last winter, and since then we are building toward the completed proposal, constantly prepared to adjust as weather, and water levels fluctuate. Much of the process has had to progress in order, completing stage after stage as we go along.
We are still trying to fine-tune requirements under the hydrology portion of our application. There may be findings in this portion that require adjustments to other portions of the overall plan.
Until this is completed the entire application process is a work in progress. The final proposal will be released when it is ready, and as of today it isn’t ready.
NO construction has started or will start without legal approval.
The overall concept of the original proposal has been seen by hundreds of people representing urban and rural municipalities, individuals and groups, and is still posted and reposted on our public Facebook site.
There are a few misleading statements, by a few individuals out there that we will be addressing, also on our Facebook page, as much as possible. Please follow us, and contribute to conversations on
“Quill Lakes Watershed”, group page. Conversations have been “lively” as well as enlightening.
For more information please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org We will try and get you the best information available as fast as we can.
Kerry Holderness Chairman,
Quill Lakes Watershed Association #14